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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
31
4.3 out of 5 stars


TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 November 2017
Fleur Talbot, a well-known author, looks back on her earlier life to a time in 1949-1950 when she'd not yet had her first novel published and was living in a small bedsit paid with by wages earned from temporary secretarial work. Needing to earn some extra money to support her whilst she works on her novel, Fleur takes a job working for the eccentric Sir Quentin Oliver, who is the president of the Autobiographical Association, and who Fleur soon begins to realize is not quite the harmless eccentric he first appears. Lording it over a group of bizarre individuals who have joined the association in order to write their own biographies, Sir Quentin's agenda is not immediately clear to Fleur, but when she is typing up the members' manuscripts and he encourages her embellishments of their memories, Fleur begins to have doubts about his motives. As Fleur juggles her job with writing her novel and trying to avoid the mostly unwelcome visits of her lover's wife, she becomes very good friends with Sir Quentin's elderly and rather outlandish mother, Lady Edwina, who takes every opportunity possible to aggravate her son and to deflate his exaggerated opinion of himself. When Fleur's manuscript of her novel disappears, she has the uncomfortable feeling that its disappearance has something to do with the manipulative Sir Quentin, and when one of the association members dies in a manner similar to that of one of the characters in Fleur's novel, she begins to wonder if Sir Quentin's motives are more sinister than she'd imagined...

Full of unusual characters living unconventional lives, Muriel Spark's sharply-observed 'Loitering with Intent' is a quirky and entertaining story with a touch of the gothic to it. Although partly autobiographical and the author's cast of off-beat characters are oddly believable, it's not a story to be taken too seriously (though there are deeper and darker layers here if you look for them) and if you take it in the spirit with which is was written then there is quite a lot to enjoy in this unusual little novel.

4 Stars.
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on 22 January 2016
Have read 2 other Muriel Spark novels which I enjoyed as they had a strong storyline. This however didn't keep my attention as much - too many characters who were irrelevant.
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on 21 February 2014
It is of its time and it is witty but a bit arch and contrived but suspect that was the intention.. Admirable for its literary tricks and easy to read but not one of my favourites. I bought it because I enjoyed the Girls of Slender Means. Did not enjoy this so much but some of the characters-Mummy, for example were entertaining.
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on 23 October 2017
Excellent
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on 21 October 2017
Muriel Spark is a clever writer but I found this novel too self-indulgent.
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on 12 September 2017
Amusing but little interesting content.
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on 3 September 2014
A wonderfully cool and thought-provoking novel.
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on 7 January 2016
Loved this book. Just re-read the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (first read over 40 years ago). Loitering with Intent is written in much the same style and I thoroughly enjoyed both books. Has made me want to read more of her books and other classics from that era
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on 17 June 2015
Changed days
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on 5 December 2015
good read prompt service
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